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Day 70

Location: Fairbanks, AK

It was so nice to have a home to stay in for the first time since Vancouver.  Ericka hosted me along with her boyfriend and some other travelers, and it was fun to swap stories of their lives on the road, in addition to hearing about Alaska from people who live there.  We hit the hay by 2AM or so, and I got some great sleep on a foam mattress she offered (after sleeping in the car, sleeping on a foam mattress is like sleeping on clouds…so comfortable).  Big thanks to Ericka.  This was my first experience couchsurfing, and it was a good one.

The next morning I was invited to join them in a canoeing trip, but I had to pass as there was some personal business I needed to attend to, in addition to seeking out new headlights.  By noon or so I had left Ericka’s to find some kind of mechanic.  The Mazda dealership in town had a service area, but that was closed on Saturdays.  I did end up finding a Jiffy Lube/Quick Fix it place, and the mechanics told me they could make an attempt at replacing the headlights.  They were able to replace the driver’s side one, but the passenger side they could not as it would involve taking off parts of the headlight unit they were not comfortable with.  OK, better one headlight than none, right?  I resolved to continue to drive during the day, and I would find a Mazda place down in Anchorage that could replace the passenger side headlight.

Hung out at a coffeeshop for a while and took advantage of the free WiFi.  A big thing I have to take care of is booking my tickets for a trip I’m taking in October to Nepal and Japan.  Not the easiest itinerary to figure out, as there are a lack of direct flights.  Soon I’ll have that squared away, though, and be in Pokhara, Nepal with Lucky Monk.

I also decided to splurge a bit and booked a hotel for the night in Fairbanks.  That way I could have a desk to work at, as well as take advantage of things like a fitness center and pool.  I hung out there a while, and then around 9PM headed towards the fairgrounds in Fairbanks.  I just happened to be in town while the annual fair was taking place.

Fairgounds around 10PM. Still a lot of daylight left

I had a good time hanging out at the fair.  I’m not big on rides, but I do like sampling all the different food at fairs.  I had a spicy “reindeer dog.”  Hit the spot.

"Denali Creampuffs." Very good

Great time at the fair, and only $10 admission, too.  Eventually made my way back to the hotel, and got some sleep.  The next day would be one of the most anticipated days of this trip – visiting Denali National Park.


  1. Reva Barno
    August 9, 2010 at 9:25 pm

    Just lookedup Lucky Monk and your May writings. Fabulous! You put yourself in such wonderful situations. I remember how enthusiatic you were after that trip. Perhaps, in your preparation for this trip you considered self-publishing this adventure. You might not sell a million copies, but it’s already written and could bring pleasure to others to travel these roads with you. Thanks.

    • August 10, 2010 at 2:17 am

      What a story, right? Totally by-chance experience meeting Lucky Monk. Didn’t think about publishing these stories, but you know, it would be nice to have a book form of this for my own review later on (and an easy way to view the pictures). I’ll think more about this idea…appreciate it!

  2. schmellymelly
    August 9, 2010 at 9:32 pm

    couchsurfing is such an interesting and free spirited concept. it’s cool to see there are generous and trustworthy people out there. great timing you were in town for the state fair. did they have caribou hot dogs?

    It may just be me, but the hazy picture of the fair can be a great “write a story about this picture” assignment in grade school. the gloomy sky, the grunge emo guy, and the kid in the front….

    • August 9, 2010 at 10:34 pm

      That reminds me, I forgot to mention I ate a reindeer hotdog there. **adding to post** that was delicious

      • August 10, 2010 at 2:15 am

        Also, I might have to try that “write a story about this picture” and put it up on facebook. I’ll bet we’ll get some creative responses.

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